On June 19, 2012, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued the public version of Order No. 20 (dated May 24, 2012) denying Respondent VIZIO, Inc.’s (“Vizio”) motion to amend the protective order to include a prosecution bar in Certain Products Containing Interactive Program Guide and Parental Controls Technology (Inv. No. 337-TA-820).
According to the order, Vizio sought to prohibit Complainants Rovi Corporation, Rovi Guides, Inc., United Video Properties, Inc., Gemstar Development Corporation, and Index Systems, Inc.’s (collectively, “Rovi”) trial counsel from participating in pending prosecution matters involving the asserted patents because Rovi’s trial counsel has access to certain “highly sensitive confidential business information” that could give Rovi an unfair advantage during patent prosecution. In opposition, Rovi argued that the existing protective order is sufficient to protect Vizio’s confidential business information as the order makes clear that such information cannot be used for purposes of patent prosecution. Further, Rovi contended that its trial counsel has no decision-making authority regarding patent prosecution and the scope of the proposed bar places an undue burden on Rovi.
After considering the parties’ arguments and applicable law, ALJ Bullock determined to deny Vizio’s motion. Specifically, the ALJ noted that Rovi’s trial counsel has no competitive decision-making power with respect to patent prosecution and that the current protective order is adequate to protect Vizio’s interests.